Skip to content

Transparency

Stay in the loop!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

Recent Comments

Subscribe

Transparency (1)

Transparency

August 31, 2019

 Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.– Mother Teresa

Recent events led me to recall one of my heroes in the Bible. Known simply as a man with a shriveled hand, his story appears in three of the gospels.

When Jesus met this man in the synagogue on the Sabbath, critical eyes watched to see if He would break the law and heal the man. Scripture tells us Jesus felt distressed by the cold-hearted legalism of the religious leaders. (Mark 3:5) 

Jesus used the situation as a teaching moment:

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9 NIV)

Answering His own question, Jesus healed the man, leaving the Pharisees seething in anger. 

Most lessons from this story focus on the evils of legalism. But I see another lesson here, one often overlooked, but very relevant to me.

We never learn what caused the man’s deformity. In a culture where most people worked with their hands, his disability presented an obstacle for earning his living. In addition, a shriveled hand would likely appear repulsive to most people. I imagine he often hid his hand from the eyes of others. Certainly his affliction hurt him deeply. 

As we follow the man’s story, we see Jesus tell the man to stand up in front of everyone. Then Jesus asked him to do the unthinkable:

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” (Matthew 12:13a NIV)

As I picture this scene, I marvel at how vulnerable this man must have felt as he held up his broken, marred, and deformed hand to be seen by all. Yet, as he obeyed, Jesus completely healed and restored the defective hand. (Matthew 12:13b)

Too often I forget the importance of exposing my “uglies” for others to see. The struggle I shared about in my last post reminded me of the healing power of transparency.  

During that struggle, I shared the ugly emotions raging in my heart. But I also publicly recognized the efforts of others who tried to make my situation better. Since I took responsibility for my anger, communication remained open. 

My honesty helped everyone involved to realize I misunderstood a major piece of the puzzle. Although clearing up the confusion didn’t fix the situation, it did set me on the path toward healing. Without being transparent, I could never have come to that understanding. Sometimes we simply don’t know what we don’t know. 

Transparency makes us vulnerable, and vulnerability can be scary. There will always be some who will watch us struggle with critical eyes. With hardened hearts, they will miss the message of hope. 

But others, those with open hearts, will also watch. They will not see perfect followers of Jesus. But they will see people honestly exposing the ugly, deformed pieces of themselves in order to be healed by a compassionate and loving Lord. Transparency about our struggle illuminates the path of healing for ourselves and others.

The Apostle Paul eloquently expresses this truth as follows: 

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV)

Honest transparency initiates healing and inspires hope.

As I continue down the road, I pray to remain honest and transparent. Wherever the road leads you, I pray the same for you.

Transparency

August 31, 2019

Transparency (1)

 Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable. Be honest and transparent anyway.– Mother Teresa

Recent events led me to recall one of my heroes in the Bible. Known simply as a man with a shriveled hand, his story appears in three of the gospels.

When Jesus met this man in the synagogue on the Sabbath, critical eyes watched to see if He would break the law and heal the man. Scripture tells us Jesus felt distressed by the cold-hearted legalism of the religious leaders. (Mark 3:5) 

Jesus used the situation as a teaching moment:

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9 NIV)

Answering His own question, Jesus healed the man, leaving the Pharisees seething in anger. 

Most lessons from this story focus on the evils of legalism. But I see another lesson here, one often overlooked, but very relevant to me.

We never learn what caused the man’s deformity. In a culture where most people worked with their hands, his disability presented an obstacle for earning his living. In addition, a shriveled hand would likely appear repulsive to most people. I imagine he often hid his hand from the eyes of others. Certainly his affliction hurt him deeply. 

As we follow the man’s story, we see Jesus tell the man to stand up in front of everyone. Then Jesus asked him to do the unthinkable:

Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” (Matthew 12:13a NIV)

As I picture this scene, I marvel at how vulnerable this man must have felt as he held up his broken, marred, and deformed hand to be seen by all. Yet, as he obeyed, Jesus completely healed and restored the defective hand. (Matthew 12:13b)

Too often I forget the importance of exposing my “uglies” for others to see. The struggle I shared about in my last post reminded me of the healing power of transparency.  

During that struggle, I shared the ugly emotions raging in my heart. But I also publicly recognized the efforts of others who tried to make my situation better. Since I took responsibility for my anger, communication remained open. 

My honesty helped everyone involved to realize I misunderstood a major piece of the puzzle. Although clearing up the confusion didn’t fix the situation, it did set me on the path toward healing. Without being transparent, I could never have come to that understanding. Sometimes we simply don’t know what we don’t know. 

Transparency makes us vulnerable, and vulnerability can be scary. There will always be some who will watch us struggle with critical eyes. With hardened hearts, they will miss the message of hope. 

But others, those with open hearts, will also watch. They will not see perfect followers of Jesus. But they will see people honestly exposing the ugly, deformed pieces of themselves in order to be healed by a compassionate and loving Lord. Transparency about our struggle illuminates the path of healing for ourselves and others.

The Apostle Paul eloquently expresses this truth as follows: 

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. (1 Timothy 1:15-16 NIV)

Honest transparency initiates healing and inspires hope.

As I continue down the road, I pray to remain honest and transparent. Wherever the road leads you, I pray the same for you.

2 Comments

  1. Charla on September 5, 2019 at 3:22 PM

    Many times our transparency – although challenging – is there very thing that convinces others to do likewise. I know observing true followers of Christ during seasons of struggle or caught off-guard by a challenging event have been instrumental in my growth as a Christian. Thank you for choosing transparency, friend.

    • Shirley Desmond Jackson on September 6, 2019 at 2:00 AM

      Thank you, Charla. You are so right. Not only do we learn through our struggles, others do as well. I also appreciate those who have been transparent with me. Sometimes it just helps to know we are not alone in our struggle. When we see others fight through something, it encourages us to do so as well.

Leave a Comment